That can look any way you decide for it to. Make your summer fun for you by building your calendar of solutions first. What will that look like? What are the possibilities you have?
*If you know, just as in any family, that members do not get along then set up dates to be with different sections. Instead of taking on everyone at one time; take small portions. Allow you and your partner to be a team in supporting each other during the difficult interactions.
* If you are introducing your new partner to your family this summer; set it up for success. Introduce them to someone who is warm and welcoming first and allow them to establish a connection. Then add members into the mix; no need to overwhelm them with 25 people who don’t like the fact that you are in love. View the decision-making as respecting your partner and yourself by allow your level of stress to not skyrocket. Remember, these are people you love meeting someone you one, handle with care.
* If this summer is your coming out; make it about being you not about your family. You have been living in your mind for your whole life; your family has been on the outside of that mind. They might have known something was different but until it is talked about, it is simply not the same. Being you is being the person they love, so let them love you, even if that takes some uncomfortable conversations to get there. Set yourself time limits for conversation and then step back to breathe (everyone). The steps may not be easy but they are doable!
Be at peace with the journey and know that there will be ups and downs…work to set up successful interactions; that may be 10 minutes in the same room with no one killing the other or hugs for all! You will not know the outcome until you attempt the journey.
Melinda Porter MA